WizBang
Share

WizBang

by johnarthurmeakin on 1 Jun 2020

Adorable Magical Mayhem! 2D twin-stick platform-brawling for up to 4 friends in local multiplayer, where players battle it out as their favorite Witch or Wizard in Wiffleflux's most celebrated magical fighting tournament, WizBang!

1 42 0
Round of applause for our sponsors

Adorable Magical Mayhem!

Challenge your friends in Wiffleflux's most celebrated magic-fighting tournament WizBang — a mayhem-fueled frenzy of spell-slinging, arm-swinging, body-flipping and drop-kicking that magic folk compete in for the title of WizBang champion!

Download the game for Windows PC at our itch.io page here:
https://kimmi64.itch.io/wizbang

(Xbox One/360 controller required per player!)

The Game

WizBang is a 2D twin-stick platform-brawler for up to 4 players in local multiplayer.

Players dropkick, dash, run, jump and shoot spells to build up the damage of each other and attempt to knock each other out of the stage to gain points. The player with the most points when times runs out is the winner!

(The game was initially developed for 8 players, however due to the challenges of lock-down we couldn't play test sufficiently!)

Choose from 7 intensely unique and kooky characters, each with their own subtle variance in play-style.

Stage intense battles on 3 beautiful, dynamic and interactive levels that will test your skill and keep the fight fresh.

Blast rivals into the Power Hoops and send them flying on Sky Stadium!

Travel back and forward in an endless circle-of-time in the Magic Woods!

Go spelunking down through the Mines of Gloria to the core of Wiffleflux!

Get twitchy with 360-degrees of unhinged play that allows you to shoot spells, aim dashes and launch dropkicks in any direction.

Pick up and play with a control scheme that enables players of all skill levels to engage and have fun, whilst giving advanced players a roomy skill-ceiling to explore.

Our Story

We are Ghost Pixel Media and we are a team of 2nd year game development students at the Falmouth University Games Academy.

We developed Wizbang as part of our 2nd year project assignment, but regardless of grades, Wizbang quickly became the game we all wanted to play and we have poured our darn hearts into it.

Like many others, we were hit by the Covid pandemic and lockdown interfered with not only our project, but the mental health of our team. This impacted our project hugely and although we gained the perfect excuse to flex our remote-collaboration muscles, play testing and gaining feedback to fuel iteration became a serious challenge with our game being couch multiplayer.

The game has bugs, it could do with a tonne more polish and there are features, levels  and characters that had to be cut. Nevertheless, we are super proud of our wacky, juicy, cute, colourful and downright enjoyable party game.

^ Our amazingly talented team from left to right: ^

John-Arthur Meakin - system/level/UI design, animation, programming, audio
Jake Meaker - programming, AI programming/design
Alex Cleworth - lighting design
Jack Meyler - bio-screen design
Kimmi Pitcher - UI art/design, promo art/design, creature art/design
Rohan Canavan - initial character concepts
Louise Crouch - character art/design, platform/scenery art/design, 2D particle FX
Hollie Bown - character/prop concept art
Cameron Lis - environment art, video editing

Mantra

The mantra of WizBang is Adorable Magical Mayhem, and was created to provide a tonal context for design decisions made in development. This worked to great effect in guiding the intended feel and tone of the game, as can be seen in WizBang’s resident cute fluffy creatures — the WifflePuffs!

Character Design

Each character has been passionately designed to have their own unique colour scheme, scale, shape, silhouette and identity.

Scale

The scale of the characters was decided upon early in the project to maintain coherence, and establish scale metrics to inform level design. This also helped to consciously vary each character’s scale from one another to further character individuality.

Colour scheme

The primary, secondary and tertiary colours of each character have been carefully chosen to contrast against the rest of the roster. This helps players to distinguish the characters on-screen amidst the fast paced-action, whilst creating a feeling of individuality and personality for each character.

Further to this, each character has 4 colour-scheme skins designed to help players distinguish between duplicate characters on-screen. Maintaining a quality colour contrast across the roster with 4 colours per character presented a mighty challenge for our artists, and it is a true testament to their skill.

Here are some early colour tests for Zippigan and Bonnie.

Silhouette and diversity

Careful attention was given to each character’s design to ensure exclusive silhouettes and readability, and to represent a diverse range of character races, cultures and genders.

Character concept to completed model

Here is Bonnie from her original concepts iterated through to the final model.

Sprite sheets

Here is how the character sprites are imported into the engine for slicing, rigging and animating.

A beautiful ‘designer hand-holding’ guide from our amazing character artist Louise Crouch!

The Wifflepuff: Concept to Completion

Feature Design Documents

We don’t want a GDD!” Said every modern iterative developer… 

Instead of creating huge documents, we created small feature design documents that are simplistic, easy-to-read and intentionally open to interpretation to nurture creativity and iteration.

Game balance

WizBang has an interesting setup; each character has the same abilities and are therefore symmetrical, but their variable values such as spell speed, kick power and jump height are subtly asymmetrical. 

This was an early design decision made to lighten the load of balancing a relatively large roster of characters for a small team game.

These are images from the WizBang spreadsheet that stores and visualises all of the character stats and values. The charts are designed to help the designers to better digest the balance of values between all of the characters.

Animation

We had the challenge of having no specialist animator in our team composition. This was a huge consideration when concepting our game idea and meant that many of the design decisions about art-style and representation were driven by it.

We decided to go with 2D pivot animations as it presented us with a relatively simple animation workflow that our lead designer and artists could work with to create a quality aesthetic.

Here is an early demo of how the pivots work on the models to allow 'tweening' in-engine with Unity’s Mecanim animation system.

Level Design

The aim of the levels in WizBang were to be dynamic and interactive, which was achieved by including elements that move, wiggle, bounce and do stuff, so that players had a sense of immersion within the abstract 2D world.

Level layout of Sky Stadium: Blockmesh to completion

Overworld level-select map: Concept to completion

Design, to Art, and back to Design

From terrible ‘designer art’ to beautiful, scalable and modular assets in the Mines of Gloria sprites!

Ruins stage of the Magic Woods level: Concept to completion

That's your lot!

Thanks for taking the time to check this out! Stay safe out there and spread the love :)

Feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have any thoughts or questions.


Comments (0)

This project doesn't have any comments yet.

 Collaborators: Louise Crouch Jake Meaker Kimmi Pitcher Hollie Bown Cameron Lis Alex Cleworth Jack Meyler and Rohan Canavan